HEATHER Knight insists England’s T20 World Cup knockout preparation remains unchanged despite rain threatening their elimination without a ball being bowled.
England are due to face India in Thursday’s first semi-final but forecasted rain could lead to a washout at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
With no reserve day, victory would mean the end of the road for England in Australia – with India set to progress after they finished atop Group A, while Knight’s side were runners-up in Group B.
Every onlooker has therefore become a temporary meteorologist but the captain isn’t dwelling too much on the uncontrollables.
“It’s the elephant in the room, it’s hard not to think about the weather but for us, it’s about making sure we keep our preparation exactly the same as it has been, we’ll prepare to play,” said Plymouth’s Heather Knight.
“A lot of us have played in rain-reduced games before and it’s all about who switches on the fastest, who adapts very quickly and who ultimately performs in that short space.
“It can be quite manic if it is a rain-reduced game, we’re make sure as a team that we’re quite calm with the way we want to do things.
“The good thing about our team is that we’ve got a lot of variety, a lot of different skillsets bowling and batting, so we feel like we can adapt to any situation we’re thrown in to.
“You just have to focus on the job you’ve got to do, focus on winning ball by ball and trying to keep really calm, really clear and really simple.”
Should the weather clear up and fortune favours England, they won’t have to look too far for a key batter to lead the way.
No player has scored more than the 202 runs Nat Sciver has accrued in this tournament, using her new No.3 position to good affect with three half-centuries in four matches.
The skipper sits just behind Sciver in the standings but with no other England player totalling 50 in the tournament, there are fears of over-reliance on the leading pair.
But so long as the all-rounder remains at the top of her game, Knight isn’t too worried about others needing to pick up the pieces.
“Nat and I have been in really good form, which has been great, but I’ve sensed some change in some of the players as well,” said Knight.
“For Nat, it’s realising that Powerplay is a little bit different, and realising that she scores so well hitting through the field and not in the air.
“That’s been quite a key learning for her. Previously, when she’s gone in the Powerplay, she’s felt that she’s gone a bit mad and gone a bit too high-risk.
“In this World Cup, she’s been accepting that she might have a few more dots in the Powerplay, but she’s going to catch up with the way she plays.
“She’s a phenomenal striker of the ball, she’s very calm and trusts her game. She’s enjoyed having a few more balls to face which has been nice.
“I’m really pleased with how Nat has gone. We put her into that No.3 role in Malaysia, it’s a new role for her, but she’s taken it all in her stride.”